I can’t shake the feeling that China sees Donald Trump as their best shot at reshaping the world into explicitly Chinese and American spheres of influence.
By helping Trump with North Korea, I think Chinese President Xi JinPing is trying to edge out Vladimir Putin and Russia from the Global Leader Gang which only has two members. After years of subtle attempts to move Russia out of the Global Leader Gang, the Obama Administration became more blatant.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership had many purposes. One of those was to anoint China as the new Global Leader Gang partner and finalize Russia’s relegation to a second tier nation. A relegation that began when President Obama (rightly) poo-pooed the idea that Russia was of any major consequence to the United States when Mitt Romney reflexively (and wrongly) brought it up during the election.
The animosity between Putin and Obama was well earned. Street thug versus cosmopolitan internationalist. Spy versus professor. Gravy versus consommé.
President Obama realized that Russia was a fiction resting on the historical reality of the USSR. Russia isn’t the USSR. Russia is Italy with a good backstory. And President Obama treated them accordingly.
Putin knew his only chance was to get all traces of Obama out of the US government. If that didn’t happen, the fiction would end. And with that, all of the opportunities that have made Putin the richest man in the world would also end. Not acceptable. Not in the least. Hillary Clinton represented a continuation of Obama. Putin knew he needed a champion. Luckily, Donald Trump was tailor-made for this. His financial entanglements with Russia make him malleable. His ego and lack of intellectual curiosity make him easily fooled.
In comes Trump riding a wave of rabid xenophobia, religious bigotry, misogyny and racism right into the White House. Pushed from behind by Putin’s cyberwar against the United States. Once in he meets with the man he has insulted for years and is told:
“Remember, North Korea is the real issue NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS”
Trump’s narcissism doesn’t allow him to acknowledge the wisdom in those words. Until North Korea starts exploding nuclear bombs and heaving ballistic missiles in the direction of SEATAC. His Asian doppelgänger, Kim Jong-Un, is aping his behavior and they posture at each other like red-assed baboons in a roadside Safari exhibit. Instead of shit, words are flung but we still get soiled. As do the people of North Korea. There is only one reality about where we are right now.
We all will suffer
China wants out of the North Korea business. They want the prestige that Obama was going to give them. What better way then to help their biggest customer take care of “the real issue”?
Welcome to the Global Leader Gang, China. Thanks for the assist.